This is the time of the year where everyone reveals their favorite games of the year. A lot of the time, these lists are virtually identical. I didn’t want create another list filled with games you already know are really good. Besides, I can’t recommend any game I haven’t actually played. So I decided to share a few of my most memorable games of 2012 in no particular order.
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead is incredible. It’s not often that a point-and-click adventure game can captivate audiences across PC, consoles and mobile devices. This game is a shining example of how a great story with likable characters can trump any game that mostly relies on constant action sequences. Every time a new episode of The Walking Dead was released, I would play through it from start to finish with no interruptions. I hadn’t been that captivated with any form of media since I started watching Breaking Bad. Would The Walking Dead game be as popular without the soaring popularity of the TV show and consequently the graphic novels? Maybe not. But what does that matter anyway? This game is still fantastic.
When I first learned about Don’t Starve from a Klei Entertainment post on Twitter, I figured I’d check it out since I enjoyed Shank so much. I knew this game had got me when I learned I could make an axe out of flint of sticks. At that moment, I could feel my free time slipping away. What else could I make? What happens if I eat monster meat? Should I burn that spider nest in the middle of a forest? These are the questions you have to ask yourself while playing this game. Don’t Starve is one of the few games that can throw you into the world with no instruction and get away with it. It’s a constant learning experience that gets updated frequently. This is a game I plan on playing well into 2013.
Dead Trigger is the best zombie-killing first-person shooter for Android. It looks great, performs very well and it doesn’t even take up a lot of space. Madfinger Games has somehow managed to squeeze a high quality experience out of less than 300MB of storage. If Gameloft made a similar game, it would easily be over 2GB. This is the kind of storage management that has kept Dead Trigger on my tablet for months. It’s also one of the only free-to-play games that doesn’t stonewall you if you don’t want to spend money. In an industry where mobile gaming is gradually encroaching on all our gaming time, Dead Trigger is a great example of a high quality, bite-sized gaming session.
Mass Effect 3
The Mass Effect series is one of my favorites. Even though the original ending to Mass Effect 3 was quite bad and a bug prevented early adopters from importing their true Shephard, this game is still marvelous on many levels. The storytelling has always been worthy of discussion, and the overall lore can fill many books. But above all that, there are few games in 2012 that captivated me more than Mass Effect 3. I was also surprised at how much I enjoyed the multiplayer component. I spent many hours fighting alongside friends as we struggled to reach extraction on every stage. BioWare also provided consistent updates for ME3 throughout the year. For a game that came out in March, that’s not bad at all.
Borderlands 2 is my favorite multiplayer-oriented game of 2012. Much like Mass Effect 3‘s multiplayer, me and my friends played through Borderlands 2 for countless hours. We’ve gone through the campaign twice, conquered some DLC and are waiting to see what else is in store. I love finding better weapons, watching tons of loot fly out of a boss and learning about the different ways to stack skills. There’s no reason to be on the fence about buying this game. If you have at least one battle buddy, you’re in for a blast.